So what’s new there? I’m always worrying about something.
I’m a constant worrier. I worry about money. The kids. The pugs. My knee. The state of the world. The state of my house.
Yep, there really isn’t much that I DON’T worry about.
My main worry at the moment centres on the future of my son, Gilbert. He heads into Year 6 next year and we need to work out which high school we want to send him to so we can start the transition process.
With his vision impairment and high functioning autism we will need to work closely with both his current primary school and the prospective high school in order to establish the supports he will need to manage in a new and challenging environment.
And in order to have everything in place we need to start right now.
- We need to know what mobile technology will be best for him to allow him to move around from class to class and no longer rely on an enlarged screen fixed to his desk. A funding application needs to be submitted ASAP so we can access the technology next year so he can get used to it before he moves across to high school.
- We need to apply for funding to ensure the receiving high school has adjustments in place to cater for his vision impairment. These adjustments include high-visibility paintwork to poles, edges, stairs and grates; enlarged print on signs and room signage and provision for assistive technology.
- We need to apply for support funding to assist with his transition as he is not currently eligible for funding for his autism. The application would be for a dedicated aide to help support him through transition.
All these are time sensitive needs and dependent on our choice of high school. The only problem is, we haven’t yet decided on a high school and we probably won’t know for sure which high school will accept any enrollment application for some time to come.
We’ve known all year that we need to select a high school. It was brought up at our Personal Learning Plan (PLP) review meeting at the start of the year. However so much has happened this year (my Dad’s cancer diagnosis, our USA adventure, my Dad passing away, my knee injury, my struggles to launch my new business, re-pivoting the blog, etc.) that time has got away from us.
We’ve made one decision at least – we have applied for Gilbert to sit the selective high school test next year. He is a smart kid and we want to give him the opportunity to test himself and see how far he can go. Who knows whether he’ll perform in the test environment? Who knows whether he’ll cope with it at all? We don’t have the answers but we owe it to him to give him the chance to at least try his hand.
You’d think this would represent a step in the right direction, wouldn’t you? However taking this step complicates matters as we’re not going to know whether he will be offered a place at our local selective high school until July. And obviously there are no guarantees. So, in the meantime, we need to continue to look at other options as well.
His local high school is around the corner from his current school and he is reasonably familiar with it due to the close ties between them. Many of his classmates will move over there too so there are many advantages to him enrolling there.
But there is one distinct disadvantage that is heavily weighing on our minds. The local high school is part of a collegiate system with two other high schools which means it only hosts students from Years 7 to 10, requiring a change of location to another campus for Years 11 to 12. This initial transition to Year 7 is going to be hard enough. I really don’t want to put Gilbert through it all again in 4 years time if we can avoid it.
So we are investigating some out of zone high schools which currently have cohorts from Year 7 through to Year 12. But there are no guarantees they will accept out of zone enrollments, particularly from a student who will require adjustments and additional supports.
And there is always the chance we will make a decision, start the funding process and work closely with a high school only to find ourselves having to re-do it all should he receive a placement at our local selective high school later in the year.
The pressure is on. I just want to make the right decision for Gilbert. I want to find the right school for him, a place where he will be supported and aided to be the best he can be. But above all I want him to be happy.
So I guess that explains why I’m worrying so much right now…
What are you thinking/doing/contemplating/planning/dreaming of right now?
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I’m up at almost 3am linking up because I suppose I’m worrying about my daughter and her surgery at 10 am today. It will be so good to have it out of the road. I just want to fast forward the next six or so weeks because she is going to have a tough time of it.
Now as far as selecting schools go….. I love the gifted and talented school my two youngest went with. It seems to be more focused on the welfare and wellbeing on their students, although followed very closely by results. It also has main stream which everyone moves into in year 11 & 12, taking the pressure off if you ask me. Unlike the completely selective school nearby, the one that wins most of the awards. It has more of a focus on getting those HSC results and a massive drop out rate as a result. Not that they advertise that.
It’s hard to know how to advise you but I suppose look at the advantages with the close proximity to home that the local school offers and the fact that friendly faces will be going with him. How will adding commuting time onto your son’s school day impact him if you go further afield? It’s such a shame the local doesn’t go to year 12 but you have 4 years to prepare him for the transition and I’m guessing friends will then make the move with him.
Thanks so much for your wise words – you’ve given me a lot to think about and a different perspective, which i really did need.
Good luck with your daughter’s surgery today – let me know if there is anything I can do to help x
I do sympathise. The year before school changes wax always very fraught for us. We so need our kids to feel wanted and cared for. My big son on the spectrum just left school. Fraught again!!
Goodness – time does speed along, doesn’t it? I hope there are adequate supports in place for kids moving out of school and into the workforce. Another massive change – good luck with it Seana x
Can you apply out of area for the selective school (or is it only selective?) – we did that. So if our eldest missed out on the selective stream, there were still other options…
Unfortunately this school is fully selective so no chance of getting in any other way. Funny enough I just had a call from our primary school who are putting information together about his needs for the test itself and they are going to do all they can to help him but it seems they are very strict in their special needs provisions (no electronic test, no scribe, etc). I just hope he can have a go, and get a fair go too.
Wow sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate Kristy. I hope things become clearer soon!
Kirsty! Stupid autocorrect!
Hahaha – I’m still eating out of a jar of nutella that says Kristy so I’m cool with it 😉
Right now I’m worrying about whether we’ll ever have another baby, getting excited about Christmas and getting frustrated that the house never seems to stay clean once I clean it. I’m already freaking about which primary school to put bub in, I can’t imagine how hard the decision is for you guys with Gilbert’s vision limitations and autism. My brother and SIL have been lucky that by chance the school they picked for my niece also does a special class for autistic kids so when my other niece needs to go to school in a year she can go to the same school as her sister and they’ll be able to support her.
That sounds so positive for your brother’s family Toni – it’s such a relief when things like that all fall into place x
I am thinking/dreaming of the dream job landing in my lap so I don’t have to go back to doing something I don’t like!!
Good luck with your decision making, am sure, as difficult as it seems now, it will all fall into place.
Thanks Zita. I hope it all works out too but I can’t help but worry – it’s like my natural response to everything!
Picking schools is difficult and the only thing I learnt ( well one thing anyway) was to pick the school most suited to each child. So far 3 of my kids go to 3 different high schools
That’s possibly how things will turn out here as well. I’m just going to savour the fact that next year, for one whole year, I’ll have three kids at the one school!!!
Oh Kirsty, the only thing I can say…is that recently I read that being a worrier and having anxiety is a sign of a high IQ. Yep, you and me both, lady. I think I could win a medal for worrying. And it is said that most of what we ever worry about never happens. I won’t add to the school discussion for Gilbert only to say I wish more parents were as organised as you! Denyse x
Thanks Denyse x
Sadly, no advice or tips from me. We still wonder if we sent our kids to the right high school!!!!!
I’ll probably be the same Janet!
Your life is incredibly full on. Make the best decisions you can. And hang in there!
Thanks Ed. Maybe you can put together a Lego scene for me? That might help my decision making process!
Wow…that’s really early to start thinking about high school but I can understand the process. Takes a while, doesn’t it? I have a client with ASD who is due to start high school next year but still doesn’t have a placement. Good luck with it all. Can understand the worry.
OMG – I don’t think I could cope if we were still in this same state of indecision next year. I hope your client finds the right school who will understand them and care for them x